How to discover Android malware thanks to app permissions

A few days ago Google removed from the Play Store well 101 dangerous apps, all developed by the same network of developers hidden behind fake names and probably based in China. This is the latest mass removal of dangerous apps from a long series: periodically, but not without serious delays, Google does a little cleaning of the Play Store.

To be honest, even Google’s opinion would not be needed to understand if an app is unreliable. And not very reliable does not mean just that it could carry a virus, but also that it could rake our personal data and then resell it to someone else. Fortunately, you can get a rough idea of ​​how reliable an app is even before installing it: the best method is to check which permits requires to work and look for someone who smells a little too much. A skeptical approach is the secret of security: if you are wondering why an application asks you for that permission, then don’t give it to him. Here’s how to do it.

Check app permissions before installing them

You can check which ones permissions requires an app even before installing it, directly from the relevant page of the Play Store. Just go to “App Info“And then go down and tap”App permissions“. At this point we will see the whole list of authorizations required by the app to work and we can ask ourselves the fateful questions: why are you asking me for this authorization? What do you need it for?

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How to understand whether to grant permissions to an application

Starting from the above questions, it is quite easy to understand if an app was developed primarily for steal our personal data. A photo editor that asks for authorization to record the audio has no reason to do it, a memory management app that wants to know our exact location by accessing GPS has no reason to do it, another app to manage contacts that wants to access the camera, once again, does not has reason to do it. And we don’t no reason to grant such suspicious permissions.

How to remove permissions to apps

But what to do if the app has already been installed and the permissions already granted? If we really need it, and we don’t want to uninstall it, then we can take away the unnecessary authorizations. To do this we must go up Settings> Apps & notifications> Advanced> Authorization manager. Here we will find all the permissions divided by category, with the individual apps to which we have granted them. By tapping on each app we can remove the single authorization.


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